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6 Caithness Groups Among Highland Organisations To Benefit From Community Regeneration Funding Towards Revenue Projects

4th October 2023

A funding boost of nearly £1million of revenue investment is set to benefit rural areas across Highland.

The Highland Strategic Local Action Group who met during September, considered, and agreed funding for revenue projects submitted to the first round of the 2023/24 Community Regeneration Fund.

75 applications were considered, and of these, 61 were approved.

Chair of the Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Ken Gowans said: "Community Regeneration Funding (CRF) is an umbrella term used to cover multiple external funding programmes administered by the Highland Council. This first round was specifically to fund revenue projects financed from the Community-Led Local Development programme (CLLD). Although managed within the umbrella term Community Regeneration Funding, the CLLD programme builds on the legacy of the EU LEADER funding programme. Decisions on which projects are to receive funding is taken by a Local Action Group made up of third sector representatives, public agencies, and private organisations."

He added: "A wide spectrum of projects were approved during this round, including feasibility studies and development phases for capital projects such as affordable housing schemes and visitor management facilities; revenue support for mental health services, youth work programmes and cost of living initiatives; revenue support for existing community transport schemes; and development support to improve community facilities and amenities."

He continued: "It is fantastic that we have been successful in securing a large allocation of CLLD funding from the Scottish Government again this year. Last year, 48 projects benefitted from the CLLD programme meaning that, with this years' approvals, £2m of additional funding has been invested in our rural communities over the last couple of years. This latest round of revenue funding provides essential support for local jobs and allows Highland communities to grow and develop new opportunities, all of which bring positive actions addressing the issues faced by our rural communities."

The Community-Led Local Development programme is financed by the Scottish Government to encourage economic, social, and environmental development in rural areas. For 2023-24, £11.6 million of funding has been committed to support projects throughout Scotland including island communities. In addition to the £1m of revenue funding already committed this year, the Highland Council has been awarded a further £400k of CLLD funding towards capital projects and this will be distributed with the remaining Community Regeneration Fund later this year.

Caithness Projects In Receipt of Funding

Caithness Highlife Highland Thurso Young People's Project
This project will increase the resilience of young people in Thurso - many of whom face complex and multiple challenges in their lives - through the delivery of a 5-month programme of support youth-led activities

Thurso Youth Club
Development of a Childcare Service in Thurso
This is the development phase of project to set up a childcare service in Thurso. There is a need for a childcare service in
this area as there currently is nothing similar and there are not enough childminders. Thurso Youth Club owns its own building, however to provide a service to the majority of people who might require it, including those on universal credit, we will need to become registered with the Care Commission, which will necessitate some adaptions to the building

Dunbeath & District Centre (D&DC)
Development Phase of Capital - Jigsaw Project
This project seeks to establish a community health & wellbeing centre in South-East Caithness to improve the lives of local residents on land that has been transferred from the Highland Council through a CAT process

Old St. Peter's Kirk Preservation
Establishing what is required to preserve Old St Peter's Kirk and enhance the visitor experience, OSKPA would like to commission a conservation professional with an appropriate level of expertise to inspect the structure and provide a detailed report on the repair works necessary to ensure the long-term stability of the structure and continued access for members of the public

Caithness Mental Health Support Group Weekenders: Wellness when you need it
Mental health support is lacking for people across Highland outside of the typical Monday to Friday, 9-5 working day. Many people are looking for support but are unable to access it due to work commitments, meaning mental health needs are going unaddressed. As such, CMHSG are looking to pilot an enriched
offer of support at the weekends

Wick Development Trust
Wick River Campsite - Phase 3 Pre-development
The focus of this application is for pre-development works towards Phase 3 of the Wick River Campsite development to build a new visitor reception building to include reception, shop, workshop, and cafe with community space, all with energy efficiency and net zero ambitions at the forefront of design

See the full Highland list of projects HERE

See the main listing for Caithness Community Groups HERE


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